Last month, Orlando ambient maestro Danielfuzztone formally entered our consciousness with a strong and realized debut album (Thoughts & Abandonment) on Bandcamp. As expected given the enormous recorded backlog he's amassed, it didn't take long for more releases to follow.
But, besides repping our city well with their substance, the inspiration for his two latest singles are maybe some of the most creative references to Orlando history ever. The most recent nod to Orlando's past is the hilariously titled "Peter Murphy Always Cancels Twice." Oh, remember that stretch of history-making folly from 2019?
Those two consecutive Bauhaus abortions at the Plaza Live were a stranger-than-fiction series of events that cumulatively now live in Orlando music infamy, casting Murphy in the flame of effigy and David J in the glow of halo. The Bandcamp liner notes of the two-track single say it all: "For fun, Google 'Peter Murphy' and 'Orlando.'"
The other recent two-sided release that Danielfuzztone did — this time with local guitarist and accomplished rock poster designer Jeff Matz (of Lure Design) — is a deeper, darker dive into local history. A-side "Children of Sunland" is a reference to Sunland Mental Hospital, the ignominious and forsaken institution in West Orlando that was the local urban legend of its time.
Known for abysmal conditions and patient mistreatment, Sunland — sometimes colloquially known as "Sunny Land" — was shut down in 1985 but sat there dark until its ultimate demolition 13 years later, i.e. the perfect number of years to amass a reputation as the "haunted insane asylum" among those of impressionable age.
"Children of Sunland" is an appropriately creeping and cinematic slow burn that would've perfectly soundtracked a journey through the abandoned hospital. Or at least, from what I've heard, since my friends and I absolutely, categorically did not go there ourselves one humid, moonless night because we are not, nor have we ever been, delinquents. Good times.
Since attending concerts in person is still iffy business right now, some nice live energy can be safely enjoyed in the recent release by the endlessly likable Expert Timing.
As spelled out in the title, Live in Stereo is a live recording of the Orlando trio at Pennsylvania studio Shards, and it's a good snapshot of why their melodic, punk-spiked indie rock is a concert favorite. Available now on Bandcamp, the EP comprises four tracks and a sweetly scruffy cover of "Wait, Wait, Wait" by the Format.
We finally heard a new song from Orlando band Copper Bones just last month after nearly five years of recorded silence. Now the gruesome twosome turn right around with the recent drop of another single just as good as the previous, possibly even better. Available on Bandcamp, "Icarus" is a choice exemplar of their heavy but melodic rock template. The current outpouring will continue for the next couple of months with new singles as they wrap up their next album.
LIVE MUSIC EVENTS: If you go out, respect everyone's distance, for all our sakes.
Bengali 600: This Orlando band specializes in the kind of soul that keeps it close to the motherland, with perpetual grooves and an Afrobeat pulse that usually yields full body-moving results. Rounding out the vibes will be local ska band Florida Man and DJ Frankmatik. Shows at Will's are still masked and limited capacity. (8:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, Will's Pub, $10 in advance, $15 day of show, $40 table for four)
Swans: Where Does a Body End? Local events promoter Modern Music Movement has teamed up with the film literati of Uncomfortable Brunch to bring an exclusive Florida screening of the 2019 documentary about primal noise-rock gods Swans, who are unquestionably one of the most monolithic bands alive.
More than just a movie screening, the night will also pack a show with an opening live performance by harrowing Orlando act Alien Witch, about whom you've been hearing an inordinate amount here lately since they're on a quantitative and qualitative tear in terms of music releases this year. The atmosphere's gonna get heavy at this one. (8 p.m. Saturday, May 1, Will's Pub, $10)